YA Books for National Native American Heritage Month
Did you know that in 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed a joint resolution to designate November and National American Indian Heritage Month? In order to learn more about Native American experiences, consider reading one of these works by and about Native Americans.
Available in Teen Central
#Not Your Princess edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, this collection offers poems, essays, interviews, and art by various Native women, sharing their experiences and stories. For instance, the book includes the artwork, “The Side Dancer’s Gift” by Marika Echachis Swan (Tla-oqui-aht Nation).
Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Louise Wolfe breaks up with her boyfriend after he disrespects Native people. Newly single, she leans into her passion of working on the school newspaper. She pairs up with the photojournalist Joey Kairouz who knows about discrimination himself. Things take a turn when the school’s musical director decides to do color-conscious casting for The Wizard of Oz. Louise’s younger brother, Hughie, is in the cast and because of this, their family has to grapple with the racist ideas of L. Frank Baum.
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
Set in alternative U.S.A. where magic exists. Elatsoe is of Lipan Apache ancestry and has the ability to raise the ghosts of dead animals. After her cousin is murdered, she sets out to uncover the truth and to protect her family.
Junior is a budding cartoonist living on the Spokane Indian Reservation. In order to pursue his dreams, he leaves the reservation to go to an all-White high school. Inspired by the author’s own experience.
My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson
Luke is sent to a Catholic boarding school hundreds of miles from his Arctic village. No longer surrounded by his native language, I’nupiaq, he has to deal with a school divided in three groups: White, Native American, and Iñupiat.
Finally, you can find a list from the Los Angeles Public Library of Native American YA books to check out.